Northeast Wholesale Power Gains as Hotter Weather Lifts Demand

Northeast spot electricity prices gained as hotter weather spurred demand to run air conditioners.

The high temperature in Boston today may reach 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 Celsius), 5 higher than the usual reading, while New York City may be 1 above normal at 82 degrees, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Heat will build in the region over the weekend, boosting demand on the grids next week to the highest levels since August.

Boston spot power jumped $25.63, or 84 percent, to average $56.29 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended 1 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The day-ahead price for the hour was $40.63. The on-peak average is up 36 percent at $45.89 from yesterday’s full-day average.

New York City prices rose $1.64, or 4.1 percent, to $41.32 a megawatt-hour from the same time yesterday. The on-peak average was up 7.6 percent at $40.54.

Boston spot on-peak prices are trading at a premium to New York for the first time in 11 days at $5.35 a megawatt-hour versus a discount of $3.83 yesterday.

Electricity usage from Connecticut to Maine will peak at 18,370 megawatts during the hour ended at 4 p.m., up 5.6 percent from yesterday’s high of 17,354 megawatts for the hour ended at 5 p.m., according to ISO New England Inc.’s morning report.

New York City demand was 7,731 megawatts at 12:45 p.m., up 6.5 percent from yesterday’s outlook of 7,258 megawatts for the hour, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

Power Flows

Imports into the city are below forecast as maintenance keeps the FitzPatrick nuclear reactor in upstate New York at reduced rates at least through the afternoon of June 24, according to Genscape Inc., which tracks real-time power data.

The Entergy Corp. reactor, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) northeast of Oswego, was operating at 54 percent of capacity today and was last at full power on June 14, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Output was cut to perform scheduled work on one of two main station transformers, which transfer power from the plant to the grid, Tammy Holden, a spokeswoman at the plant, said in an e-mail. She declined to disclose the duration of the work for competitive reasons.

Prices were little changed on the 13-state grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC, which stretches from New Jersey into North Carolina and Illinois. The benchmark Western hub fell 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $40.27 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 1 p.m. from a day earlier. The day-ahead price for the hour was $41.97. The on-peak average is down 15 percent at $34.28 from yesterday’s full-day average.

“The real heat is going to start next week,” said Tom Hahn, vice president of U.S. power derivatives at brokerage ICAP Energy LLC in Durham, North Carolina.

Power on PJM, the largest U.S. grid, is being priced at $67 a megawatt-hour for June 24 with the balance of the week “staying pretty firm” at $63, he said. PJM expects peak hourly demand on its grid to reach 143,249 megawatt on June 26, the most since August.

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